MS 8247 comprises papers accumulated by Ley during the period 1972-1975 when he was Legal Counsel to the Speaker and Private Members of the Papua New Guinea House of Assembly and Legal Officer of the Constitutional Planning Committee. There are a small number of papers dating from the early years of independence and a range of papers including minutes of meetings, transcripts of debates, agenda papers, discussion papers, correspondence, memoranda, notes, speeches, reports, submissions, briefings, newspaper articles, journal articles and conference papers. Correspondents include John Momis, C.J. Lynch, I.F. Tarua, Julius Chan, Michael Somare and E. Wolfers (14 boxes).
Barrister and solicitor. John Francis Ley was born in Melbourne in 1938. He worked for law firms in Melbourne until 1963 when he took a post as legal officer in the Department of Law, Papua New Guinea. From 1966-1969 he was Deputy Public Solicitor in Rabaul, sometimes acting as Public Solicitor in Port Moresby. From 1970-1976 Ley was Legal Counsel to the House of Assembly in Papua New Guinea, and was Legal Officer of the Constitutional Planning Committee between October 1972 and August 1974, which prepared recommendations for Papua New Guinea's independence. From 1976 to 1995 Ley worked in the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department in Canberra.